GREAT DADS IN LITERATURE | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 25, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 25, 2020

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GREAT DADS IN LITERATURE

Social media brimmed with photos and stories of dads for Father's Day this past Sunday, June 21. But who were some of the fathers we have loved reading in books? The DS Books team chimed in with their favourites.

KABULIWALA (1892)

Rabindranath Tagore

Tagore's short story portrays a father who is far away from his home. He misses his daughter and his fatherly affection sparks up after encountering a young girl who resembles his child. The story portrays not only the tenderness a father feels towards his daughter, but also how that love can shape the dynamics between two fathers, each from different circumstances in life.

THE LOWLAND (2013)

Jhumpa Lahiri

Subhash in Jhumpa Lahiri's novel—the brother who leaves to study in Rhode Island—goes on to become an especially tender father to his daughter. The generational struggle between them is beautifully portrayed; their inability to communicate their shared trauma feels painfully real.

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA

(1950-1956)

C S Lewis

Lewis' fantasy series has always had religious underpinnings, with critics theorizing that Aslan the lion could be a metaphor for Jesus Christ. But he is also a father figure of sorts, not just for the Pevensie children whom he guides through life, but also for the creatures of Narnia, all of whom he breathed life into. They look up to Aslan more as a paternal figure than a king, as is illustrated by Lewis through the Pevensies' coronation ceremony hosted by Aslan himself.

THE BOAT PEOPLE (2018)

Sharon Bala

The protagonist in Bala's novel sacrifices blood, sweat and tears to protect his son from the perils of a civil war in Sri Lanka. Even after they land in Canada after a long journey by boat, he suffers fresh trials to protect his son from imprisonment and deportation as they seek asylum.

MY STRUGGLE BOOK 2: MAN IN LOVE (2009)

Karl Ove Knausgaard

Knausgaard's book is about him reconciling his roles as a father and as a writer. He feels strongly responsible for his daughter and her well-being but at the same time, he has a duty towards literature. He writes about his place in all this with almost brutal honesty, sparing no embarrassing detail.

DRAGONFLY SEA (2019)

Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor

On the island of Pate in coastal Kenya, sailor Muhidin arrives first as a friend for Ayaana. As the plot progresses he becomes her mother's love interest and, therefore, a father to her. Muhidin is a rigid figure, but he shields Ayaana from radicalisation and the social stigma that is rife in a Kenyan island for a single mother and her child.

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